Interfaith Agricultural Projects
HAF is dedicated to fostering multicultural and interfaith projects in the spirit of Morocco’s history of peaceful coexistence between its Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities.
The Jewish Community of Marrakech-Essaouira has lent five plots of land to the High Atlas Foundation, for the development of fruit tree nurseries.
These plots are adjacent to Jewish sacred cultural sites (often referred to by the name of the personality buried there), of which there are more than 600 to be found across the Kingdom. It is planned, therefore, for other Moroccan Jewish communities to become partners in this initiative in the future.
Once mature, the trees raised at these nurseries will benefit surrounding Muslim farmers by enabling them to make the transition from subsistence farming to fruit tree agriculture. Household incomes will be increased and skills transferred to the local community, whose members will build and manage the tree nurseries and secure organic certification for the produce.
The resulting initiatives will be incorporated into a federation of cooperatives that promotes Moroccan organic, fair trade agricultural and artisanal products.
The first five-year project is currently under way at Akraich, a village in the Al Haouz province. Here, through the generous support of the Lodestar Foundation, Wahiba Estergard, Michael Gilliland and other HAF partners, 50,000 fruit tree seeds have been planted with the aim of benefiting approximately 8,000 people.
During the second year of the project, the established saplings will be distributed for replanting and maintenance by schools and households within the local Muslim community, starting with the most marginalized
At this time too, nurseries will be created at four new locations adjoining Jewish sacred sites:
Rural commune of Tidili, Azilal province (Rabbi Davide Halevi Draa) – 400,000 walnut, almond and carob trees for the benefit of 20,000 people.
Villages of the Tnine Ourika commune, Al Haouz province (Rabbi Shlomo Ben Lehensh) – 80,000 walnut and almond trees for the benefit of 6,000 people.
Rural commune of Tamaguerte, Al Haouz province (Rabbi Daniel Hashomer) – 400,000 almond, olive and walnut trees for the benefit of 20,000 people.
Rural commune of Ait Faska, Al Haouz province (Rabbi Habib Hamizrahi) – 400,000 almond, fig, olive and pomegranate trees for the benefit of 20,000 people" also have bullet points for the four listed sites.